640 TALKS ON " AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "
deity. e People at that stage ^ould not have grasped
the idea of what we now mean by God. They had
to have a Lord of Hosts, a leader in war, who would
take their side whether they were right or wrong and
carry them through to victory. That was the only
kind of God they could have had at the time ; and
there have been a good many Christian nations
whose ideas have not been dissimilar in that respect.
The Jew rose to a higher conception of God in later
times when they were taken prisoners into Babylon.
They had had glimpses of older civilisations before,
when they had come into contact with it in Egypt, but
it had made very little impression upon them ; for
they managed to keep themselves apart. But in
Babylon they were bound to learn about a Supreme
God. Of course they promptly identified Him with
their Jehovah ; that was only characteristic. After
that what they wrote about Him becomes very
different. You find some of those later prophets
writing magnificently about Him, but still bound
down by their old ideas which keep cropping up with
the new one. Very rarely do they write as a Baby-
Ionian would have written, who was always familiar
with the idea of the Supreme Deity.
(3) The third theory—that God is beneficent—is the
theory we hold in Theosophy. Theosophy holds that
He has brought this whole scheme of things into
existence for a definite purpose which it is steadily
pursuing all the time, and that therefore everything